Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 Review

In 2015 I read 118 books, according to my Goodreads list! I went a little crazy with all the NetGalley offerings. I now get most of the books I request. I also joined two book clubs and started a book club at the local library, too.

Reading
I read 47 literary books and short story collections, 21 biographies or memoirs, 15 nonfiction, 10 genre fiction, 10 quilt books, 6 classics, 6 books for young readers, and 3 poetry books.

I was part of my first blog tour (A Place We Knew Well by Susan Carol McCarthy) and had my first author interview (Jacopo della Quercia author of License to Quill).

I was thrilled when authors 'liked' my Goodreads review of their books or commented on my blog thanking me for my review. Nine reviews were chosen by the publisher to be featured on the book's NetGalley page. Two publishers reached out to offer any book I wanted from them. I have shared my quilt book reviews with my local guild newspaper.

In 2015 I did some themed reading: Shakespeare, frozen climes, animal stories, music, art, biographies, African American related, historical fiction, fiction about writers, and Michigan based novels.

Book reviews scheduled for the coming months include:
  • My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Trout who wrote Olive Kitteridge
  • Radioactive! by Winifred Conklin, about Irene Curie and Lise Meitner
  • The Longest Night by Andria Wiliams, fiction based on a real nuclear reactor accident
  • Lay Down Your Weary Tune by W. B. Belcher, fiction about a recluse folk singer
  • The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson, a British travel book
  • Nelly Dean: Wuthering Heights Revisited by Alison Case
  • Fast Into the Night by Debbie Clarke Moderow, about the Iditarod
  • A Doubter's Almanac by Ethan Canin, a powerful family drama
  • All the Winters After by Sere Prince Halverson, an Alaskan romance
  • When We Are No More: How Digital Memory is Shaping Our Future by Abbey Smith Rumsey
  • Will's Words: How William Shakespeare Changed the Way you Talk by Jane Sutcliff
  • Lit Up by David Denby which looks at how literature impacts the lives of 10th graders 
  • The Early Poems of Ezra Pound
  • Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave, a powerful novel about WWII
  • The Books that Changed My Life: 100 Remarkable People Write About Books by Bethanne Patrick 
  • The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith, a novel about a forged painting
  • The Queen of the Heartbreak Trail about Harriet Smith Pullen, a family history
Quilting
I did accomplish a tidy amount of quilting, too.

My John Quincy Adams quilt is traveling in a show of Presidential Quilts arranged by Sue Reich, and will be in her January 2016 book Quilts Presidential and Patriotic, as will my quilt Remember the Ladies, a Redwork quilt of the First Ladies.

I made Gridlock, made with vintage political linens and handkerchiefs. It won Most Humorous ("humerous" according to the ribbon) at the CAMEO quilt guild show.
 
I made Pumpkin Pie from Bunny Hill and adapted a pattern for a  pumpkin vine  table topper.

I finished my Charles Dickens quilt and completed Barbara Brackman's Austen Family Album quilt top.

I advanced a bit on Love Entwined, Esther Aliu's remarkable pattern based on a antique coverlet. I am nearly done with the fourth appliqué border around the medallion center.

I collected twenty some Rows X Row patterns or kits and made a whole slew and completed two, a wall hanging and a table topper. I am machine quilting another Row X Row quilt.

I made two small Dragonfly wall hangings, a Hawaiian appliqué quilt block from Creating Hawaain Inspired Quilts, and took a hexagon workshop with Mary Clark. I made four little quilts with vintage linens, doilies, and embellishments inspired by Quilting with Doilies. Mary Kerr's Recycled Hexie Quilts sent me looking for vintage Flower Garden Quilts. I found some but haven't started a project. Yet.

AND... I have started putting together appliqué blocks for my long awaited Great Gatsby story book quilt, and I am hand quilting a small Tree of Life Medallion quilt started in 1995, and am gathering fabric for future quilts. I have to live forever to complete it all. Start praying, please!

Miscellaneous
I was thrilled when several of my articles were picked up by other bloggers and shared with a larger audience. It was obvious some publishers or authors shared my review of their book. Very cool!
  • Retro Renovation shared about my choosing Wilson Art Betty laminate for our kitchen remodel. 
  • My article on Operation Hanky was shared by embroidery guru Mary Corbett and became one of my all-time highest read posts. 
  • Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi shared my review of her book And Still We Rise and it is on my top ten most read posts of all time.
Genealogy
I shared from antique math books, vintage magazines, local visits, quilt shows, and art museums. And most amazing my post 1954 Sealtest Recipes stood as the No. 1 most read post for most of 2015. A lot of people wanted that Creamed Eggs in Bologna Cups recipe I suppose.

2016 Plans 
I am planning to participate in a Pickwick Papers read-a-long through the Behold the Stars blog.
I found A Year with Rilke and will read it daily this coming year.
A quilt blogger has suggested a quilt-a-long recreating an applique sampler quilt. If it goes, I'm in!

I already have NetGalley books on my shelf to be read:

  • Marooned in the Arctic:The True Story of Ada Blackjack, the 'Female Robinson Cruosoe' by Peggy Caravantes
  • Lit Up by Dennis Denby which considers how literature impacts students lives
  • Chasing the North Star by Robert Morgan, about a runaway slave
  • Smoke the Donkey: A Marine's Unlikely Friend by Cate Folsom about an Iraqi donkey
  • Just Another Southern Town: Mary Church Terrell and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Nation's Capital by Joan Quigley